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and a few doors uptown…

…and directly across the street. They moved a block or two north on Broadway, but still… you know?

Finally, two blocks away at 79th and Amsterdam.

People on phones in front of an empty store on E. 33rd near Park Ave.

A view inside the empty store. The high ceilings and open floor space make it ideal for multiple ping pong tables. Reflected in the window, the ghostly images of two pedestrians and two phones, unaware of the ping pong possibility a few feet away. But it might as well be continents.

A woman and a man, mere yearning strangers, pass a closed eatery on E. 34th. Too small for proper ping pong, but perhaps once the perfect place for an after-match slice. I don’t know why the two passersby are not wielding phones. One can only speculate but perhaps shouldn’t.

While capturing images of the long vacant CompUSA on 5th Ave. in the thirties, I came across this scene. Behind the glass, two women sitting on couches wearing bathrobes typing on laptops. People took pictures and video and stopped and watched. Which just goes to show you that if you stick live people in a window, put a few cameras on tripods in front of the windows, and draw a crowd, it can make Closed for Business.

Anyway, the rest of the building stands unoccupied, a sign in the window begging for a big box store.

I’d like to see a ping pong emporium there. A place for the young ‘uns to gather, bat the little white ball around in a well-lit, supervised environment where they can develop good solid values and skills they’ll use the rest of their lives. The boys can wear athletic-grade high-impact bow ties and the girls can wear lycra hoop skirts. They can buy wholesome ice cream products, socialize and compete, all in the spirit of good, clean American fun.

December 2009
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